By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
MARTINSVILLE -- The Northview Knights were unable to duplicate an earlier season victory against Terre Haute North on Saturday evening and with a 40-37 sectional title loss to the Patriots, a season and a career came to a close.
"Terre Haute North is very deserving," said Lancaster of the Patriots championship. "But I couldn't have gone out with a better team, a more competitive team or a team with more togetherness. I'm so proud of the year they had and the way they fought."
The Knights indeed battled tooth-and-nail all game long against a Patriots team that featured a great deal more size in 6'6 Thomas Anderson and 6'7 Justin Gant.
Resilient all year long, Northview battled its way back into the game with a 3-pointer from Austin Akers to trail 13-7 after one quarter.
Northview made adjustments to slow the post game by Gant and Anderson, but Cory Hemmings stepped forward for North to hit four-of-five attempts from the field during the first half to give the Patriots a 22-13 lead at the midway point.
"Their size really hurt us," said Lancaster. "Their ball handling has really improved over the season."
The second half, not surprisingly, was a war from the beginning.
Tyler Coltharp scored to get things started for the Knights and Caleb Whitman followed by knocking home a 3-pointer and two free throws to get Northview back to within 22-20.
But North rallied back with two free throws by Anderson and a bucket from Friday evening's hero, Chris O'Leary. Anderson then went baseline for another score and the lead grew back to 30-22.
Heading to the fourth quarter, Northview closed the gap again with a jumper from Jered Timm, who followed with a steal and a lay-in. Akers hit a free throw to send the game into the fourth quarter trailing just 30-27.
Midway through the final period the Knights looked like they might finally get over the hump on a drive by Akers and a score from Timm hanging in the lane. The Knights were within 35-33 and then 36-35 following Coltharp's eighth-point of the game.
Hemmings was fouled with 31 seconds remaining in the game, but hit both shots for the Patriots to give them a 38-35 lead.
Coltharp scored again off a dish by Akers with 17 seconds left to narrow the gap to one at 38-37. Hemmings was fouled again, but once more hit both charity tosses with just 12.3 remaining on the clock.
Northview called a final timeout to set up the final shot, but an off balance 3-pointer was no good at the buzzer.
"In 17 years I've loved a lot of teams, but this one was special," said Lancaster. "I'll miss the competitive nature of coaching, but I'll be their biggest fan in the future."
Also coming to a close were the high school careers of Timm, Zach Kirby, Whitman, Keaton Robertson, Coltharp and Nick Lancaster."
While at the helm for the Knights, Lancaster was 96-45 and led the squad to a sectional title in the 2003-04 season in which Northview reached the regional championship game. The squad also won back-to-back Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Tourney championships. Lancaster won two-thirds of his games as a head coach, compiling a 254-133 record in 17 seasons, six with the Knights. This year's squad finishes with a 14-8 overall record.
Terre Haute North advances to face Evansville Reitz on Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. in the Seymour Regional.
Class 4A Martinsville Sectional
Timm 3-5 2-2 8, Whitman 3-5 2-2 9, Akers 3-13 3-4 10, Coltharp 4-5 0-1 8, N.Lancaster 0-2 0-0 0, Reynolds 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 14-33 7-9 37.
T.H. North (40)
Gant 5-7 2-3 12, Anderso 3-9 3-4 9, Harrison 0-3 0-0 0, O'Leary 2-3 0-0 5, Hemmings 4-5 4-5 13, Gabbard 0-0 1-2 1. Totals: 14-27 10-14 40.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 2-11 (Akers 1-6, Whitman 1-1, N.Lancaster 0-2, Reynolds 0-2), THN 2-2 (Hemmings 1-1, O'Leary 1-1). Total Rebounds -- Nv 19 (Coltharp 5, Akers 5), THN 19 (Gant 7, Anderson 6). Total Fouls -- Nv 14, THN 10. Turnovers -- Nv 11, THN 10.